Scotland squad: Big goalkeeping changes as Scott McTominay misses World Cup qualifiers

Steve Clarke has made big changes in the Scotland goalkeeping department for September’s World Cup qualifiers, while there is no place for Manchester United’s Scott McTominay.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke has made some changes to his squad for September's World Cup qualifiers (Photo by Pim Waslander / SNS Group)
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke has made some changes to his squad for September's World Cup qualifiers (Photo by Pim Waslander / SNS Group)

David Marshall, Scotland’s number one at Euro 2020 and the penalty shoot-out hero from the play-off win in Serbia, has been dropped from the 26-man squad for the triple-header against Denmark, Moldova and Austria, along with Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

Marshall, 36, has been demoted to third choice at Derby County while 33-year-old McLaughlin is used sparingly by Steven Gerrard as cover for first choice Allan McGregor, with Clarke opting to draft in two younger goalkeepers alongside veteran Hearts stopper Craig Gordon, who retains his place.

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St Johnstone’s in-form custodian Zander Clark earns first international call-up at any level alongside Motherwell’s Liam Kelly, who has never been capped at senior level despite a call-up in 2019, but has made various appearances for Scotland at youth level, up to and including Under-21s.

There is also a first-time call-up for Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson, while Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean returns after missing Euro 2020 due to injury.

McTominay’s withdrawal comes after Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the midfielder was benched for his side’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday due to him “struggling with injury”. He had been widely praised for his performance in the 5-1 win over Leeds United on the opening day of the Premier League season and his absence is a blow for Clarke, who has utilised the 24-year-old in both midfield and defence.

There is better news on the injury front involving Scotland captain Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney as the left-sided defensive pair are both included after returning to training at Liverpool and Arsenal respectively following recent knocks.

Scotland will face Denmark in Copenhagen on September 1 before returning home to take on Moldova at Hampden three days later. They then travel to Vienna to play Austria on September 7.

The three matches over the seven-day period will be pivotal to Scotland’s hopes of making it to the World Cup Finals in Qatar which are scheduled to take place from November 21 to December 18 next year.

Clarke’s men are currently second in Group F after dropping four points in their opening three fixtures back in March when a 2-2 draw at home to Austria was followed by a 1-1 draw in Israel and a 4-0 win over Faroe Islands at Hampden.

The group winners qualify directly for the finals while the runners-up will go into the play-offs next March.

Denmark are top of Group F with maximum points from their first three games, while the Scots are one point ahead of both Israel and Austria as they try to achieve back-to-back participations in major tournament finals.

The full Scotland squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Hearts), Zander Clark (St Johnstone), Liam Kelly (Motherwell).

Defenders: Stephen O'Donnell (Motherwell), Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Declan Gallagher (Aberdeen), Jack Hendry (KV Oostende), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Greg Taylor (Celtic).

Midfielders: Billy Gilmour (Norwich City, on loan from Chelsea), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), David Turnbull (Celtic), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Strikers: Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers), Che Adams (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle), James Forrest (Celtic), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian).

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